Today's highlight in history:
On April 5, 1862, during the Civil War, the monthlong Siege of
Yorktown began in Virginia. (Because the Union commander, Maj. Gen.
George B. McClellan, overestimated the enemy's strength and insisted
on preparations for a full-scale assault, the Confederate defenders
were finally able to slip away and head toward Williamsburg.)
On this date:
In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe,
married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. (A convert to
Christianity, she went by the name Lady Rebecca.)
In 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day
Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.
In 1792, President George Washington cast his first veto, rejecting
a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the
In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Ala., Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough
as her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of
the word "water" as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the
Marquess of Queensberry, who'd accused the writer of homosexual
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order
creating the Civilian Conservation Corps and naming its director,
In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death
following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to
commit espionage for the Soviet Union.
In 1964, Army General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age
In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age
In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in
the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted
a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.
In 1987, Fox Broadcasting Co. made its prime-time TV debut by airing
the premiere episodes of "Married... with Children" and "The Tracey
Ullman Show" three times each.
In 1988, a 15-day hijacking ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait
Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran.
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Ten years ago: U.S.
mediator Anthony Zinni met with Yasser Arafat at the Palestinian
leader's besieged West Bank headquarters on the bloodiest day of
fighting since the beginning of Israel's week-old military
offensive. The coffin of The Queen Mother Elizabeth was carried on a
gun carriage through the streets of London to lie in state at
Five years ago: Fifteen Royal Navy crew members freed by Iran
enjoyed their first night on English soil. A Greek cruise ship, the
Sea Diamond, sank off an Aegean Sea island, forcing the evacuation
of nearly 1,600 people; two French tourists went missing and were
presumed to have drowned. FBI Special Agent Barry Lee Bush was
accidentally shot and killed by a fellow agent as a stakeout team
closed in on three suspected bank robbers in Readington, N.J. Darryl
Stingley, a former New England Patriots player paralyzed during an
on-field collision in 1978, died in Chicago at age 55.
One year ago: Ivory Coast's strongman leader, Laurent Gbagbo
(loh-RAHN' BAHG'-boh), remained holed up in a bunker inside the
presidential residence, defiantly maintaining he'd won an election
four months earlier even as troops backing the internationally
recognized winner encircled the home. (Gbagbo was arrested six days
later.) Texas A&M won its first national women's basketball
championship with a 76-70 victory over Notre Dame.
Today's birthdays: Movie producer Roger Corman is 86. Country
music producer Cowboy Jack Clement is 81. Former Secretary of State
Colin Powell is 75. Country singer Tommy Cash is 72. Actor Michael
Moriarty is 71. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 70.
Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 70. Actor Max Gail is 69. Actress
Jane Asher is 66. Singer Agnetha (ag-NEE'-tah) Faltskog (ABBA) is
62. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 60. Singer-songwriter Peter Case is 58.
Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 46. Country singer Troy
Gentry is 45. Singer Paula Cole is 44. Actress Krista Allen is 41.
Country singer Pat Green is 40. Rapper-producer Pharrell (fa-REHL')
Williams is 39.
Thought for today: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute
power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even
when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you
superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority."
-- Lord Acton, British historian (1834-1902), in a letter written on
this date in 1887
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